COVID-19 Support

Business meeting flipchart

Over the upcoming weeks, we will be updating this page with weekly updates and guidance, as well as the steps we're putting in place to fully support your business.

We Care

We understand the concern that this new scenario is bringing. As our business partners, valuable customers and long-standing friends, we want to do all we can to support you during this time. We are very aware of how the rapid spread of COVID-19 in the UK is already impacting you, including decline in patient visits, potential restriction in clinic openings plus the unpredictable impact of absenteeism as people stay at home to remain healthy, and protect others.

Over the upcoming weeks, we will be updating this page with weekly updates and guidance, as well as the steps we're putting in place to fully support your business. 

Home Schooling

31/3/20

With schools closed to the majority of pupils to try to stop the spread of the coronavirus, parents across the country are now being asked to become instant home schoolers.

If you're new to home-schooling or know somebody who is, you're probably wondering how you can help kids learn and keep them occupied during this time? We have pulled together some handy tips and a list of online resources to keep kids stimulated and motivated to learn.

·         Make sure children have a dedicated learning space to work in. Home learning has an advantage in that it can cater to the individual child. As long as the student can focus and be safe, there are no limits to where the learning can take place.

·         Organise your days by using a timetable to structure the day. There is no specific time students should spend studying. However, given different students of different ages will complete tasks and grasp concepts at different rate, the advice is to aim for the time frames provided by the schools, and then be flexible depending on how your child is progressing.

·         Make sure children take plenty of breaks in order to get physical activity and time away from screens. Set alarms similar to those they would encounter at school and encourage them to get up, get some fresh air, go for a walk or bike ride, or have a snack so that they are not sedentary for the entire day.

·         Don’t forget to have fun. Plan off-screen activities for the whole family. Between school and work obligations, it’s rare for parents and children to have this much time together, so turn it into an opportunity for fun time.

What resources are available

There are so many different online resources available to help you and your child navigate learning from the home. Some websites and apps are also offering free use over the period that schools remain closed and we've rounded up a few that you should find helpful.

Reading and phonics

Websites that are good for early reading and phonics include Oxford Owl, Twinkl and Phonics Play which are all currently offering free access for parents and children. Other sites include Phonics Bloom, CBeebies Alphablocks, Letters and Sounds, Teach Your Monster To Read (website is free, paid for app) Reading Eggs and Teach Handwriting.

General Curriculum

If your children learn better through play then there are some website that offer interactive games including TopMarks, CBeebies Numberblocks, Dragonbox (paid for app), Bee Bot for Computing iPhone or Android (free app) and ICT Games (free website). Times Tables Rockstars is also currently offering free access while schools are closed.

BBC Bitesize offers educational resources for ages 3 through to 16+, offering content for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, so it’s relevant to the curriculum in your area.

Duolingo is available as an app and online, helping you to learn new languages whether you’re a beginner or have previous experience.

Health and wellbeing

Body Coach Joe Wicks announced he will be hosting free live PE lessons on YouTube at 9am Monday to Friday. He also has a playlist of kids workouts to do at home.

Cosmic Kids Yoga is a YouTube channel featuring videos about yoga, mindfulness and relaxation designed for children aged three and over.

BBC Supermovers has videos that are a fun way of teaching your kids and getting them active at the same time.

Premier League Primary Stars features fun and engaging PE, PSHE, maths and English resources.

 

Supporting Your Clients with myPhonak App

31/3/20

Remote Support Technology will be a huge support to us all during this time and remote support is a great tool to keep in touch with your clients virtually.

The myPhonak app is the gateway to implementing this service between you and your customers and has lots of great features, including Remote Support, Remote Control and the Hearing Diary.

The Remote Support feature allows you as the hearing care provider to conduct follow-up appointments in real-time with you from the comfort of your own home. You can troubleshoot any problems your client  may be having and make adjustments to their Hearing Aid, to ensure they’re having the best listening experience possible.

With the easy to use Hearing Diary your clients can provide satisfaction and feedback about their listening experiences, the feedback is automatically shared with you so that you and your client can work together to get the most out of their hearing aid.

What’s more, with the Remote Control you can customise listening profiles for different situations. Simply using the slider function allows the wearer to adjust the settings on their hearing aids and save the new scenario, these custom scenarios will then be added to the program list for easy recall.

If you haven’t already integrated this function into your business, here’s a link to get you started:  https://www.phonakpro.com/uk/en/esolutions/apps/myphonak/overview-myphonak.html

A great video to help with setup: https://www.phonakpro.com/com/en/support/other-support/esolutions-support/remote-support/overview-remote-support.html 

Once you are up and running, you can also discover how to get the most from this service by working through some of our training modules using your online PhonakPro account: https://www.phonakpro.com/uk/en/resources/counseling-tools/eAudiology/overview-eaudiology.html

We have also created a range of materials to help you share this service with your customers along with the myPhonak App User Guide. Click here to access these materials.

If you don’t already have an account, setting one up is easy. You can do this online yourself – you just need to have your Phonak Account Number. Please reach out to your local RSM should you need help to set this up for you.

Getting started with eAudiology

24/3/20

How can you start with eAudiology and Remote Support as quickly as possible?

We bundled the essentials for hearing care professionals on phonakpro.com. The ‘Clinical Implementation Guidelines’ summarize all the essentials needed for a quick start and the ‘ABC's of Audiology guides’ offer targeted support in 10 areas of action.

Click here to access our best practice guidelines

eAudiology F.A.Q's

Who currently qualifies to access eAudiology?

Any Marvel user or customers with Audeo B-Direct

I'm not familiar with eAudiology, do you have any guide to help me?

Click here to access our short self-paces online learning module, which provides a quick introduction to the field of eAudiology Practice. 

Which phones are compatible with eAudiology?

Please click here to visit our Marvel support page to view all the compatible mobile phones.

I can't remember my PhonakPro account login details?

Usernames and passwords can be recovered through the links on the PhonakPro login page. 

How do I set up eAudiology (Remote Support)?

Click here to get started

Guidance on delivering eAudiology services and meeting the audiological needs of patients remotely

24/3/20

Providing access to quality hearing care has long been a priority for Phonak. When we first started the journey into eAudiology and developing products which would enable hearing care professionals and clients to connect in alternate ways, online and remotely, we appreciated the obvious benefits of this service delivery model – time-savings, convenience and increased access to care. As our journey continued, we identified further benefits such as the fact that eAudiology allows for real-time hearing aid setting optimization in real-world environments and enables hearing care businesses to differentiate themselves from competitive threats like OTCs, hearables and internet sales.

COVID-19 revealed new benefits – keeping patients safe and socially connected

While uptake of these alternative models of service delivery has steadily increased since the launch of Phonak eSolutions to market, little did we know just how significant a role these would play, especially in times like these with the current global pandemic of COVID-19. eSolutions like Phonak Remote Support have the capacity to keep hearing care professionals connected with their clients, providing continued quality care, without the threat of infection. This is particularly important for keeping high-risk patients at home.

Social isolation, especially of the elderly with hearing loss, is a well-known concern in our profession. Many of our clients may be feeling even more alone at this time when the recommendation is to stay home altogether, precluding even scheduled visits to their healthcare providers, which they may have been looking forward to. As hearing care professionals, we are in a blessed position to play a pivotal role, not only in attending to their hearing needs, but also in helping sustain their social connectedness and overall emotional well-being.

How to get started

If you are a hearing care professional looking to get setup to practice eAudiology as soon as possible or reading about eAudiology for the first time, why not contact your local Phonak representative to talk you through the process. During this period when clinical load may be reduced, you may also want to schedule some time to browse the range of eAudiology best practice guidelines and Phonak eSolutions resources we have gathered.

Here are my top 3 recommendations to get you up to speed quickly:

  1. ABCs of eAudiology: No. 2 – 10 steps to Optimizing your eAudiology practice environment
    • A step by step guide to help you setup your room and equipment appropriately for best outcomes, as well as considerations for body language and video call etiquette
  2. Phonak Remote Support “How to’s”
    • How to prepare for Remote Support & Hearing Diary – A Phonak Target video guide showing the steps to take to invite clients to a use Remote Support and Hearing Diary
    • How to start a remote support session – Phonak Target video guide to starting a remote support session and connecting to your clients
  3. User Guide: myPhonak app
    • A user guide to installing and using the myPhonak app and its features

Thinking ahead

While eAudiology might sound like a good temporary solution to keep practicing and to maintain your commitment to your clients during this time of uncertainty and isolation, eventually the coronavirus crisis will pass, however the skills you develop will last. This escalation of service expansion to include remote care may have a lasting positive impact on your overall business, yourself as a clinician, and of course the clients you serve.

 

Guidance for employers and businesses on COVID-19 (CoronaVirus)

24/3/20

This Government guidance will assist employers and businesses in providing advice to their employees on:

  • The novel coronavirus, COVID-19
  • How to help prevent spread of COVID-19
  • What to do if someone has symptoms of COVID-19 has been in business settings
  • Eligibility for sick pay

 

View Government Guidance

Have some questions regarding the running of your business?

COVID-19: Keeping Patients safe and socially connected

24/3/20

Social isolation, especially of the elderly with hearing loss, is a well-known concern in our profession. Many of our clients may be feeling even more alone at this time when the recommendation is to stay home altogether, precluding even scheduled visits to their healthcare providers, which they may have been looking forward to. As hearing care professionals, we are in a blessed position to play a pivotal role, not only in attending to their hearing needs, but also in helping sustain their social connections and overall emotional well-being. It’s important now, more than ever, to make contact with all your patients to check in with them and understand if there is anything that they need.

You may already offer phone and email support to your customers, but now is the time to increase your customer service capabilities and ensure your patrons can reach you. For any of your customers with Marvel Hearing Aids, there are fantastic support tools available via the MyPhonak App and eAudiology. Please see below for details. For any customer that doesn't have Marvel products you can still ensure that you stay in touch no matter where they are. Social media is a good place to start, as you can offer the option to chat via Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and other instant messaging platforms. You can also offer video conferencing options through Skype, Zoom or FaceTime, so your customers can get that "face-to-face" feel without actually being there in-person.

Danielle Glista, PhD, Senior Research Associate and Adjunct Professor at Western University’s National Centre for Audiology in London, Ontario shares a 10 step guide to optimizing your practice environment for connecting with clients remotely (practice setup, video call etiquette & body language) 

Click here to view the study